Gigante and Plapp win stage 2 of the Santos Festival of Cycling

Image: Kevin Anderson

by Matt de Neef

photography by Kevin Anderson


Australian up-and-comers Sarah Gigante and Luke Plapp (both Garmin-Australia) have taken victories on stage 2 of the Santos Festival of Cycling in Adelaide.

In the women’s race Gigante blasted her way into the leader’s jersey with a long-range solo victory. The 20-year-old forced a move over the QOM with roughly 50 km left to race, dragging two other riders with her, but Gigante was soon on her own and sailing toward the finish.

The Aussie time trial champion crossed the line nearly two minutes clear of a BikeExchange-led peloton. Gigante’s teammate Georgia Baker won the sprint for second ahead of stage 1 winner Peta Mullens (Roxsolt Liv SRAM).

With two stages remaining, Gigante leads the Santos Festival of Cycling by 1:53 ahead of Mullens.

Women’s results

In the men’s race Plapp capitalised on a strong ride from his Garmin-Australia teammates – including Tour de France podium finisher Richie Porte – to take an imposing solo win. With the day’s breakaway caught, Plapp came to the fore on the final climb, just inside 10 km to go. The Australian U23 time trial champion rode his rivals off his wheel to open a gap by the KOM line, then time-trialled his way to the finish.

Tim Roe (Cervelo-Tonsley Village) and Kaden Groves (BikeExchange) were next across the line at 33 seconds, leading home a reduced chase group. Stage 1 winner Luke Durbridge (BikeExchange) finished safely in that group to retain his overall lead.

Men’s results

Two stages remain in the race, including tomorrow’s visit to Willunga Hill for both men and women.

The Santos Festival of Cycling is a four-stage National Road Series (NRS) race for men and women, contested by domestic riders and a handful of WorldTour professionals. It is being held in lieu of the Santos Tour Down Under, an event cancelled due to quarantine and border restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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